POLITICS

Nikki Haley to suspend her campaign; Donald Trump becomes last major GOP candidate

Mar 6, 2024, 4:06 AM | Updated: 7:38 am

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign...

Former U.N. Ambassador and then-Republican presidential candidate, Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo: Robert F. Butaky, AP)

(Photo: Robert F. Butaky, AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Nikki Haley suspended her presidential campaign on Wednesday after being soundly defeated across the country on Super Tuesday, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Haley didn’t endorse the former president in a speech in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead, she encouraged him to earn the support of the coalition of moderate Republicans and independent voters who supported her.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,” she said. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people.”

Super Tuesday: Trump, Biden dominate races and move closer to a November rematch

Haley, a former South Carolina governor and former U.N. ambassador, was Trump’s first significant rival when she jumped into the race in February 2023. She spent the final phase of her campaign aggressively warning the GOP against embracing Trump, whom she argued was too consumed by chaos and personal grievance to defeat President Joe Biden in the general election.

Her departure clears Trump to focus solely on his likely rematch in November with Biden. The former president is on track to reach the necessary 1,215 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination later this month.

Haley’s defeat marks a painful, if predictable, blow to those voters, donors and Republican Party officials who opposed Trump and his fiery brand of “Make America Great Again” politics. She was especially popular among moderates and college-educated voters, constituencies that will likely play a pivotal role in the general election. It’s unclear whether Trump, who recently declared that Haley donors would be permanently banned from his movement, can ultimately unify a deeply divided party.

Trump on Tuesday night declared that the GOP was united behind him, but in a statement shortly afterward, Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said, “Unity is not achieved by simply claiming, ‘We’re united.'”

Will Haley endorse Trump?

Haley is not planning to endorse Trump in her Wednesday announcement, according to the people with knowledge of her plans. Instead, she is expected to encourage him to earn the support of the coalition of moderate Republicans and independent voters who supported her.

Trump on Tuesday night declared that the GOP was united behind him, but in a statement shortly afterward, Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said, “Unity is not achieved by simply claiming, ‘We’re united.'”

“Today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump,” Perez-Cubas said. “That is not the unity our party needs for success. Addressing those voters’ concerns will make the Republican Party and America better.”

Haley has made clear she doesn’t want to serve as Trump’s vice president or run on a third-party ticket arranged by the group No Labels. She leaves the race with an elevated national profile that could help her in a future presidential run.

By staying in the campaign, Haley drew enough support from suburbanites and college-educated voters to highlight Trump’s apparent weaknesses with those groups.

In AP VoteCast surveys conducted among Republican primary and caucus voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, between 61% and 76% of Haley’s supporters said they would be so dissatisfied if Trump became the GOP nominee that they wouldn’t vote for him in the November general election. Voters in the early Republican head-to-head contests who said they wouldn’t vote for Trump in the fall represented a small but significant segment of the electorate: 2 in 10 Iowa voters, one-third of New Hampshire voters, and one-quarter of South Carolina voters.

Haley leaves the 2024 presidential contest having made history as the first woman to win a Republican primary contest. She beat Trump in the District of Columbia on Sunday and in Vermont on Tuesday.

More on Nikki Haley’s landmark win: Haley wins her first Republican primary

She had insisted she would stay in the race through Super Tuesday and crossed the country campaigning in states holding Republican contests. Ultimately, she was unable to knock Trump off his glide path to a third straight nomination.

Haley’s allies note that she exceeded most of the political world’s expectations by making it as far as she did.

She had initially ruled out running against Trump in 2024. But she changed her mind and ended up launching her bid three months after he did, citing among other things the country’s economic troubles and the need for “generational change.” Haley, 52, later called for competency tests for politicians over the age of 75 — a knock on both Trump, who is 77, and Biden, who is 81.

Her candidacy was slow to attract donors and support, but she ultimately outlasted all of her other GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott, her fellow South Carolinian whom she appointed to the Senate in 2012. And the money flowed in until the very end. Her campaign said it raised more than $12 million in February alone.

She gained popularity with many Republican donors, independent voters and the so-called “Never Trump” crowd, even though she criticized the criminal cases against him as politically motivated and pledged that, if president, she would pardon him if he were convicted in federal court.

More on Trump: Supreme Court restores Trump to ballot, rejecting state attempts to ban him over Capitol attack

Her candidacy was slow to attract donors and support, but she ultimately outlasted all of her other GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott, her fellow South Carolinian whom she appointed to the Senate in 2012. And the money flowed in until the very end. Her campaign said it raised more than $12 million in February alone.

She gained popularity with many Republican donors, independent voters and the so-called “Never Trump” crowd, even though she criticized the criminal cases against him as politically motivated and pledged that, if president, she would pardon him if he were convicted in federal court.

Politics

Associated Press

Independent report criticizes Cuomo’s ‘top-down’ management of New York’s COVID-19 response

NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation into New York’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic found former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “top down” approach of dictating public health policy through his office, rather than coordinating with state and local agencies, sewed confusion during the crisis. In the state’s nursing homes, where some 15,000 people died, the administration’s […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging federal rules to accommodate abortions for workers

CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions lacks standing, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled on Friday. Republican attorneys general from each state, led by Arkansas and Tennessee, sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April, days after the agency […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio; Microsoft founder Bill Gates; Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. ___ CNN’s […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Las Vegas shooting survivors alarmed at US Supreme Court’s strike down of ban on rifle bump stocks

Survivors of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and families who received somber calls from police hours later said they were alarmed when the U.S. Supreme Court Friday struck down a ban on the gun attachment used by the shooter who rattled off over 1,000 bullets into a crowd of thousands in 11 minutes. […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Trooper with checkered FBI past convicted of child rape in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former FBI agent was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl while serving as an Alabama state trooper — a law enforcement job he landed even after he was kicked out of the FBI amid earlier claims that he raped a co-worker at knifepoint. Christopher Bauer’s case, first detailed […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Reacting to Supreme Court ruling, governor wrongly says Buffalo supermarket killer used bump stock

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Around an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on bump stocks, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrongly said a gunman who carried out a racist massacre in her hometown of Buffalo had used the gun accessory that can allow semiautomatic rifles to shoot as fast as a machine […]

11 hours ago

Nikki Haley to suspend her campaign; Donald Trump becomes last major GOP candidate